The Royal Mint has today posted the mintage figures for the calendar year of 2019, providing the only official guide to the rarest coins in circulation.

In 2019 over 500 million coins were released into circulation, including three new 50 pence designs celebrating Arthur Conon Doyle’s iconic Sherlock Holmes, and Paddington the Bear at St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.

The figures have been revealed ahead of the 50th anniversary of Decimalisation, which takes place on 15th February 2021 and saw the introduction of many of the coins used today. The changeover inspired thousands of people to become coin collectors, and over the decades the 50 pence grew to become Britain’s most collectable coin.

The shape of the 50 pence made it the ideal canvas for special commemorative designs, and over 70 events, anniversaries and individuals have been celebrated on circulating 50 pence pieces. The famous 2009 Kew Gardens 50p remains the most coveted coin in circulation, with a mintage of just 210,000. Other rare designs include the 2011 Olympic 50p’s and the highly collectible Peter Rabbit 2018 coins.

The Royal Mint’s Director of UK Currency, Mark Loveridge, comments; “The 50p was introduced as part of decimalisation and has grown to become Britain’s favourite coin. The innovate shape of the coin makes it perfect for commemorative designs, and over the years we’ve commemorated many iconic occasions, events and individuals on a 50p.

“Coin collecting remains as popular as ever, and we were delighted to release a number of special designs into circulation in 2019. The Kew Gardens remains the most coveted coin, with a mintage of just 210,000 but it’s always exciting to find a special design in your change. As we approach the 50th anniversary of decimalisation, we are proud that this iconic work of art remains in the nation’s pocket.”

In addition to making coins for the UK, The Royal Mint is also the world’s largest export mint and produced around three billion coins and blanks for 30 countries in 2019-20.

Rarest 50p designs released into circulation in 2019
2019 coins Total mintage figures
50p Sherlock 8,602,000
50p Paddington at the Tower 9,001,000
50p Paddington at St Paul’s 9,001,000
Rarest 50p designs in circulation
Mintage year 50 pence coins Total mintage figures
2009 Kew Garden 210,000
2011 Olympic Wrestling 1,129,500
2011 Olympic Football 1,161,500
2011 Olympic Judo 1,161,500
2011 Olympic Triathlon 1,163,500
2018 Peter Rabbit 1,400,000
2018 Flopsy Bunny 1,400,000
2011 Olympic Tennis 1,454,000
2011 Olympic Goalball 1,615,500
2011 Olympic Shooting 1,656,500

The full mintage figures can be found on The Royal Mint’s website:

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